US, Europe hope 2013 brings better times
By Jennifer Peltz and Verena Dobnik .APNEW YORK -- From the glittering New Year's ball dropping in New York's Times Square to joyous fireworks in London and cheers in a once-isolated Asian country, the world did its best to ring in 2013 with hope for renewal after a year of economic uncertainty, searing violence and natural disasters.
January 2, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
“With all the sadness in the country, we're looking for some good changes in 2013,” Laura Concannon, of Hingham, Massachusetts, said as she, her husband, Kevin, and his parents joined hundreds of thousands of revelers lined up for blocks through bustling Times Square on Monday.
Revelers with New Year's hats and sunglasses boasting “2013” packed the streets in the 35-degree Fahrenheit (2-degree Celsius) cold to count down the first ball drop in decades without television host Dick Clark, who died in April and was honored with his name printed on pieces of confetti and on one of the crystal panels on the Times Square ball.
Yvonne Gomez, 53, a physician from Grand Forks, North Dakota, glowed as she and her husband, 63-year-old potato farmer Gregg Halverson, took in the festivities in New York.
“I couldn't begin the New Year in a more beautiful way,” she said. “I married him two weeks ago and here we are in the middle of Times Square celebrating the New Year — two widowers who found each other.”
Matias Dellanno, 37, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, stood in the middle of Times Square with his wife and 3-year-old son, beaming with joy as his eyes caught the multicolored lighting illuminating the square just before midnight.
“I feel a completely new hope for 2013,” he said. “It can't be any worse than last year, when my business lost clients. It was a rough year for everyone. The new year has to be better!”
Celebrations also were held around the U.S., from the family-oriented, alcohol-free first night event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to expensive private parties and sold-out musical acts in Las Vegas, featuring Beyonce, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Black Keys.
Elsewhere, lavish fireworks displays lit up skylines in Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai. In the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, multicolored fireworks danced early Tuesday up and down the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated New Year's Eve with a vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica to give thanks for 2012 and look ahead to 2013. He said that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails.
In Russia, spectators filled Moscow's iconic Red Square as fireworks exploded near the Kremlin. In Rio de Janeiro, revelers dressed head-to-toe in white as dictated by Brazilian New Year's tradition flooded onto Copacabana beach for a concert.
Organizers said about 90,000 people gathered in a large field Yangon, Myanmar, for their first chance to do what much of the world does every Dec. 31 — watch a countdown. The reformist government that took office in 2011 in the country, long under military rule, threw its first public New Year's celebration in decades.
People celebrate the New Year in Times Square in New York on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Throngs cheered in New York's Times Square as the traditional crystal ball dropped to mark the start ...